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How crunch culture lead to layoffs at Telltale, Jason Schreier finds that the developer claiming he got death threats is likely not an EA employee (though he was saying he was an employee before this) and that other widespread EA rumors are not true, a designer of lootboxes and free-to-play on how publishers ruin them and what other developers think about them, how Far Cry 5 captures the look and feel of Montana, Lucy James on the history of The Sims, Extra Credit's eulogy for Quintet, Day of the Devs and exhibiting games, streamer rants about how women are to blame for his pathetic life leading others to make excuses about their inability to create good content, Indiepocalypse and dealing with an unsustainable market, Belgium says loot boxes are gambling, Valkyria Chronicles 4 announced, the brothels of Final Fantasy XIV, the tiny animations that bring game worlds to life, Twitch Plays Pokémon’s creator steps down over allegations of doxing someone, and more.

 

Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)

 

Here are your 2017 Golden Joystick Award winners

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The 2017 Golden Joystick Awards are all wrapped up, and that means it's time to kick back and peruse the full list of winners.

Zelda producer’s acceptance speech for game of the year award is pretty honest

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Eiji Aonuma thanks fans, staff and Super Mario Odyssey

 

The best things we saw at this year's Day of the Devs

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Double Fine's annual public showcase again brought us indie delights of every size, shape, and color.

my post “Day of the Devs” observations about how people view/treat art games and their creators

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I point this out because the rude stuff was totally inline with how streamers and popular youtubers talk about these games: “What the fuck is this, what the hell, weird ass game, lol acid, haha who the hell would make this…” You know, the default slew of mockery. This came mostly from younger people. It hit me how much influence streamers and youtubers have on public opinion of these games, and this is REALLY becoming a problem. I mean, I know it was before, but damn. We should start talking about this, and some constructive criticism should exist toward how streamers talk about these games.

Exhibiting Difficult Games

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I thought it might be interesting to write a little bit about what we’ve done to try to respond to these difficult games – by which I mean difficult to show, not difficult to play – what’s worked, what hasn’t, what we still want to try out. And if anyone has any other suggestions or things they’ve tried that worked, or didn’t, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

 

The Flare Path: Emotionally Authentic

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Permadeath matters not just because your player character might die but because as a leader you have to think about your NPC lieutenants and enlisted men’s deaths. You will have to consciously send men you’ve grown to like and respect into harm’s way. If they don’t come back, you can’t just reload and bring them back. Time and again vets on the team, including ones with combat tours behind them, have emphasized the importance of this aspect of command. What we call Men versus the Mission. This War of Mine, Darkest Dungeon, XCOM and of course more traditional roguelikes have employed this mechanic, but here we use it to make you think about the virtual lives you hold in your hands, not just your own.

 

Sega Announces Valkyria Chronicles 4 For PS4, Xbox, And Switch

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If you’re still reeling from this year’s disappointing Valkyria spinoff, here’s some welcome news: Valkyria Chronicles 4 is happening, and it’s coming to PS4, Xbox One, and Switch in 2018. Don’t worry: publisher Sega says the game is coming to North America and Europe, too.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 Shares Details On Its New And Explosive Grenadier Class

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Following the reveal of Valkyria Chronicles 4 for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, Sega had more to share about the upcoming tactical RPG in this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine.

 

Far Cry 5: Capturing The Look and Feel of Montana

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The visual team behind Far Cry 5 talk about what went into recreating Montana's grand vistas and small towns.

 

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord explains how damage is determined in combat

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"Damage is a difficult concept to get right in a computer game."

 

Phantom Doctrine: XCOM Gets the Cold War Treatment - Gameplay

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The devs of Hard West take turn-based tactics to a 60's Cold War espionage setting in Phantom Doctrine. Check out one of the infiltration missions.

 

Max Hoberman’s 10-year path from Halo to Last Expedition

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More than a decade after his departure from Bungie, the Certain Affinity founder teases a new, original sci-fi property and sets his sights on the future.

 

Ash Of Gods’ Story Continues Even If The Hero Dies

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Strategy game Ash of Gods will have players making decisions that affect the story, allowing them so much freedom that they can make a decision so poorly that it will kill their hero. However, the story will continue on regardless, forcing the player to move on despite their major failure.

 

Attack on Titan 2 Adds Rico, Mitabi, Ian, Hannes, And plenty New Gameplay Features

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Koei Tecmo announced several new playable characters for its upcoming action game Attack on Titan 2, along with info on some brand-new features that are being added for the sequel.

 

Arika’s ‘mysterious fighting game’ has a title and a beta coming to PS4

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Developer Arika’s new fighting game, originally unveiled on April Fool’s Day but very much a real thing that’s actually coming out, finally has a name. The game formerly known as the “Mysterious Fighting Game” is officially titled Fighting EX Layer.

 

CD Projekt CEO talks state of Cyberpunk, internal milestone reached, employee status

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Adam Kicinski (CDP CEO) had this to say, (via google translate, if anyone here speak polish please feel free to provide better translation):

 

How Rare Cast Away Its Developmental Process For Sea Of Thieves

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Rare was once a giant in the industry. The enigmatic U.K. studio built a legacy on innovative and often off beat classics like Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie, and Perfect Dark. In the ’90s, Rare’s name was virtually synonymous with quality. But over time, that reputation faded. A series of lackluster releases like Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Perfect Dark Zero, and Kameo: Elements of Power took the shine off Rare’s star. Today, the studio is best known for its work on the Kinect Sports series and constructing the Avatar characters that once represented Xbox Live users and have now become largely ignored.

 

Beamdog says it's not working on a new Planescape project

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The studio has issued a statement denying that a return to Sigil is in the works.

 

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Early Gameplay Trailer

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Create your own story as you explore the depths of infinite possibilities in the sequel to the award-winning RPG, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Check out this gameplay montage trailer to see what’s in store, as you embark on a brand new adventure to hunt down a god to save your soul!

Update #42 - The Backer Beta is Live!

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Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Producer, Katrina Garsten, sat down with Design Director, Josh Sawyer, to ask him about the Backer Beta and what players can expect, so let's check out what they have for us!

 

Anime and bubble tea inspired this food physics sim

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We chat to Nour's creator about his experimental indie game, food physics, and the joy of ramen.

 

SOMA is coming out with a comforting new 'Safe Mode'

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The Xbox One version of SOMA will come with a nice surprise when it launches December 1, 2017.

 

Indie developers in India are channeling their history into exciting new games

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Every year the Nasscom Game Developers Conference gets bigger. Here are six exciting PC games from this year's show.

 

Dynasty Warriors 9 will be out in February

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Dynasty Warriors 9, the open-world "rebirth" of the series that was confirmed for the PC earlier this year, will be out on February 13, 2018. Koei Tecmo revealed the release date today along with details about the "empire-worthy" preorder bonus.

 

Potionomics is brewing up Pixar-quality art and animation

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The indie studio that's creating expressive characters and top-shelf cartooning.

 

Neverwinter Nights Is Getting An "Enhanced Edition"

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Beamdog, a studio made up of many ex-Bioware developers, are releasing an “enhanced” version of classic 2002 RPG Neverwinter Nights.

 

Shadowhand, the RPG card game about an 18th-century Highwaywoman, arrives in December

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Publisher Positech Games announced the single-player card-battler in 2015.

 

Iconoclasts is nearly here – see it in action

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I’ve been writing about videogames going on about eight years now. For the majority of that time, I’ve had one eye firmly glued to Iconoclasts, an ambitious metroidvania by solo Swedish developer Joakim ‘Konjak’ Sandberg. It’s been in development over six years now, and is finally, tantalisingly close to release.

 

XENOBLADE CHRONICLES 2 — 20 Minutes of Gameplay

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Curious about Nintendo's forthcoming JPRG for Switch? We've got 20 minutes of new gameplay footage, including combat and exploration, for you to absorb in your eye holes.

Game Info Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Hands-on Preview: The First 30 Hours

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Nintendo’s first-party lineup for the Switch has had an astoundingly strong launch year. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild led the charge. ARMS and Splatoon 2 both gave a solid one-two punch to follow through. Then just recently, Super Mario Odyssey kept the train rolling brilliantly.

I’d say this bundle of games, among others, have made the Switch an impressive platform already. The developers over at Monolith Soft aim to sweeten the deal even more. There’s something special about Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I’m just about 30 hours in and it has been simply incredible.

 

Gunhead pits a pirate against derelict ships full of drones

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There’s no reason having a gun for a head would stop someone from becoming a concert pianist or a specialist on Assyrian antiquities, but let’s face it, they’re far more likely to be a space pirate, raiding floating tombs and shooting everything in sight. That’s certainly the case with Gunhead, an open-world FPS due out next year.

 

Light Fall is a stark 2D platformer where you control the platforms

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Coming early next year.

 

Crafting believable VR characters in Blood & Truth

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Sony London's VR director Stuart Whyte on the need for stage-trained actors and truly interactive conversations in virtual reality

 

Code Vein teases gruelling boss fights, anime cinematics

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The Souls-like label needs to die, reckons Austin, but, given how much I enjoy Hidetaka Miyazaki's gothic nightmarescapes, I secretly don't mind if the term endures. 'Dark Souls-meets-anime' is the billing Bandai Namco's Code Vein has so far received, and its latest trailer shows off both in equal measure.

 

Capcom makes Resident Evil scarier by adding motion controls

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It may be the wrong kind of fear, though

 

Bungie Details Destiny 2 Curse Of Osiris's 'Infinite Forest' And 'Raid Lair'

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Today on a livestream, Bungie showed off footage and discussed some details surrounding Destiny 2’s next DLC, Curse of Osiris, which comes out December 5. Curse of Osiris will include “new raid content” and a new area called the Infinite Forest.

 

The Surge’s new expansion has you fight murderous theme park mascots

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Take a peek at A Walk in the Park

 

Rainbow Six Siege's new Polish operator totes a dual-fire grenade launcher

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Ubisoft have teased Zofia Bosak, Rainbow Six Siege's new Polish operator, confirming her gadget.

Rainbow Six Siege’s operator Dokkaebi is officially unveiled with a cinematic teaser

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After accidentally posting the announcement early a few days ago, Ubisoft have now officially unveiled Dokkaebi for Rainbow Six Siege.

Rainbow Six Siege's newest operator is Vigil, a stealthy defender loaded with SMGs

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Operation White Noise for Rainbow Six Siege will be unveiled this Sunday, but ahead of the full reveal Ubisoft are providing us with a series of tantalizing teasers suggesting what’s to come from the new operators. First there was Zofia. Then Dokkaebi. Now we’re getting a look at Vigil.

Ubisoft on year 3 of Rainbow Six Siege: new countries, new modes and fixing old problems

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It might have taken them two years, but Rainbow Six Siege is soon to be celebrating its 25th million player. For a game that was being considered dead-on-arrival at launch, that is an incredible result. It is a game with long-term ambitions, something evidenced by its seasonal content refreshes and fully backed esports scene - this is Ubisoft's first service game, and the rest of the industry could learn a lot from how its growth has been managed.

Rainbow Six Siege’s developers have “bit of pride” in how they’ve handled microtransactions

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You may have heard just a bit of controversy over microtransactions lately. Battlefront 2 has offered a strong lesson in what not to do, but as season passes start to fall by the wayside - particularly in multiplayer games - it seems smaller purchases will continue to fill in the void to keep AAA games profitable in the long term.

Rainbow Six Siege Year Three will feature a co-op event called 'Outbreak'

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The new mode will be free, but only available for four weeks during Season One.

Hands-on with Rainbow Six Siege's wonderfully weird next update

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One new character will hack your phone and annoy your teammates. Another can go invisible, sort of.

 

The King Of Fighters XIV New DLC Character And Stage Announced

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Earlier in November, Saudi Arabian artist Mashael Al-Barrak won a character design contest organized by Manga Productions in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq, and U.A.E., with the winning design being used for one of SNK’s fighting games.

 

Venom, Black Widow and Winter Soldier join Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite on Dec. 5

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Three Marvel characters round out the 2017 Character Pass

 

7 ways PUBG’s Desert map has evolved

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Sneaky dataminers have uncovered a brand new map for the PUBG desert map in the files for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. They've also discovered some brand new PUBG desert map vehicles as well! In this video Ian Higton examines 7 ways PUBG’s desert map has evolved and speculates on how it’ll affect the final release of the desert map for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds!

 

Endless Space 2 gets a free weekend alongside a diplomacy revamp

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Whether you’re an old hand at the strategic galactic opera of Endless Space 2 or you want to jump in for the for the first time, this week is full of good news for you. The game will be getting a free weekend alongside and a new free update.

 

RimWorld’s beta adds swamp biomes and ‘story combat’

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RimWorld has left its awkward alpha stage, blossoming into a beta with update 18. It’s called A World of Story, but the update really dabbles in everything, from crazy weather to orbital super weapons. Hitting beta also means that it’s in the final stretch, says developer Tynan Sylvester, and there won’t be any “major” new additions like entirely new systems before launch, though there will still be future updates.

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War lays out free content schedule

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With Star Wars: Battlefront 2 taking all the current flak for having loot boxes, it's a good time for fellow loot box controversy candidate Middle-earth: Shadow of War to detail all of its upcoming freebies.

 

Hitman’s Elusive Targets start repeating today

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The ‘Elusive Target’ missions of Hitman, those one-off murders only available for a brief period of actual real time before they vanish forever, return today.

 

Minecraft's Super Duper Graphics Pack Gets Delayed, Newest Enemy Type Will Be Flying Manta Rays

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Minecraft fans got the chance to vote on what would become the game’s next enemy type during MineCon Earth 2017 this weekend. They chose the one that tries to kill you if you don’t get enough sleep.

 

A new Titan Quest expansion takes players into the realm of the Norse gods

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Titan Quest: Ragnarok comes more than a decade after TQ's original release.

 

Counter-strike's new matchmaking system can tell if you've been naughty in other Steam games

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Counter-strike: Global Offensive has a new matchmaking system which takes into account your behaviour across Steam - not just in CS:GO.

 

EA Temporarily Removes Microtransactions From Star Wars Battlefront II

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EA is temporarily pulling the microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront II, a shocking move that comes after days of zealous fan anger and just hours before the official launch of the game.

Battlefront 2 once featured an Overwatch-style mode with cosmetic loot boxes

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DICE at one point planned to include a hero shooter-like mode in Battlefront II, supported by cosmetic microtransactions.

EA tells investors turning off Battlefront 2's microtransactions will not affect earnings

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EA has told its investors that removing microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront II will not have "a material impact" on the game's projected earnings.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 content might take years to unlock, but EA won’t say

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Frustrations continue to brew on Star Wars Battlefront 2’s subreddit, where members of EA DICE, the game’s developer, took part in a heated Ask Me Anything session today. Chief among the concerns: How long does it take to unlock all of the game’s content? But DICE’s answers, meant to assuage concerns, don’t seem to have satisfied those wary of Battlefront 2’s microtransactions.

EA Stock Price Drops After Star Wars Battlefront 2 Microtransaction Removal

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That comes out to around $2.78, dropping EA's stock price to $108.82 at market close on Friday. The market opens again on Monday morning, so we'll see what happens then. For the month overall, EA's stock price is down by 7 percent, though for the full year, EA is doing incredibly well; it's stock price is up 42 percent this year.

UK boxed charts: Disappointing debut for Star Wars Battlefront II

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EA's blockbuster shooter down 50% compared with Battlefield 1

Lucasfilm weighs in on Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box ordeal

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Disney unhappy with how outrage "reflected on [its] marquee property."

 

EA are also making changes to Need for Speed Payback’s progression system

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While the response to Star Wars Battlefront II was far louder, it’s not the only EA game in recent weeks to suffer criticism over its progression systems.

 

Disney Shuts Down Marvel Heroes

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Today, Marvel (under Disney) said that it is ending its relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, who makes Marvel Heroes.

Marvel Heroes Players Are Demanding Refunds For In-Game Purchases

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A Marvel Heroes player who goes by EITTurtle bought the game on Xbox in July. Since then, he says he’s sunk $400 in microtransactions, unlocking characters like Spider Man, Storm, and Captain America. Earlier this week, Marvel announced that the game’s servers will be shut down in December. And EITTurtle, like many other players, is now begging for a refund.

 

NCSoft’s Master X Master MOBA will shut down in January

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NCSoft dipped their toes into the lucrative MOBA market with Master X Master starting in 2014, but it seems the experiment has ultimately proven a failure, as the game will shut down on January 31.

 

Civilization V director Jon Shafer has left Paradox after just six months

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Jon Shafer has left Paradox Interactive. Having joined the company in May, Shafer and Paradox have parted ways following creative differences.

 

Jobs Roundup: Green Man Gaming hires former EA, Activision marketing boss

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Also this week, Keza MacDonald leaves Kotaku, a Mythbuster joins Giant Bomb, and Unity hires Insomniac developers

 

Steam’s new currency support causes chaos for international PC gamers

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Some prices are suddenly askew, and some games suddenly aren't available to buy at all.

Steam overhauls user reviews to counter spam bots

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Platform holder seeks to take power away from accounts that rate an "excessive number of reviews"

 

Vivendi have no intentions of taking over Ubisoft for the next six months

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As part of today's quarterly earnings report, Vivendi say they will not pursue a Ubisoft takeover within the next six months.

Ubisoft are opening a Berlin studio which will start work on the Far Cry series next year

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Ubisoft already employ a vast array of studios to work across all of their games, as you probably already know if you’ve sat through any of their credit sequences. Now there’s one more to add to the list, as Ubisoft Berlin will begin work on the company’s big brands starting in early 2018.

 

Axiom Verge Publisher Donating Majority Of Their Share To Developer's Son's Healthcare

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In a blog post today, Axiom Verge's developer Tom Happ revealed today that BadLand Games, the publisher of the game's retail release on the Switch, is donating 75% of their earnings from the game to a special fund for Happ's son.

 

BIOMUTANT DEVELOPER ACQUIRED BY THQ NORDIC

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The publisher plans to make Biomutant one of its "major franchises."

 

"I like endings where everyone dies" - the dark new studio from ex Quantic Dream devs

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Earlier this year, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls lead game designer Caroline Marchal decided to branch off on her own. In another life, she could have stayed at Quantic Dream and now been working on Detroit: Become Human. In another she could still be at Sony, a job she left recently to strike off on her own. But just as with modern, choice heavy games, if Marchal could go back and do things differently, each path would have ultimately have led to the same place: she would end up working on narrative games.

 

BrightLocker wants to go beyond Kickstarter and Early Access

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CEO Ruben Cortez on a platform that will open up the creative process to gamers, and unlock new revenue streams for developers

 

CD Projekt Red: "We leave greed to others"

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Witcher game maker CD Projekt Red has let off a zinger on Twitter while trying to calm fears Cyberpunk 2077 will be out to take more of our money.

 

Tecmo Koei Defeats Major Chinese Piracy Group

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In May, Tecmo Koei sued popular cracking-group 3DM Game in China for copyright violation. This month, Tecmo Koei announced it had won the lawsuit.

 

Tencent becomes first Chinese tech company to break $500B market cap

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Tencent's success has been built on the back of its chat app, WeChat, and its frequent forays into the games industry.

 

People Are Gambling With Battlegrounds Skins Now

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Last year, Valve issued 23 stern cease and desist letters to sites that ran Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling sites. A year later, not only are a handful of sites still taking bets for CS:GO skin roulettes, but the market has spread into great, wide world of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds skins. Since the beginning of this year, at least ten Battlegrounds skin gambling sites have cropped up.

 

“It Feels Wrong”: Why a Popular Clicker Game Sequel's Ditching Free-to-Play

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The designer behind 'Clicker Heroes' couldn't stop worrying if they were feeding the addictions of its players.

 

Twitch Plays Pokémon’s Creator Says He Is Stepping Down Following Alleged Doxing

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Over 3 years ago, one developer started a whole new genre of streaming with Twitch Plays Pokémon. In these streams, the chat took control and played the game, rather than the streamer. The resulting craze had views in the millions. Yesterday, the creator of Twitch Plays Pokémon, referred to as “Streamer” by the TPP community, announced he is stepping down from the Twitch account following an incident involving the alleged attempt to release a TPP community member’s personal information.

 

Twitch: "We're almost ready to go full-blown Hunger Games"

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Co-founder Kevin Lin is excited for a new age of games development where streaming audiences can interact with the players

Twitch details Achievements and Stream Summary features

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Achievements and Stream Summaries are the latest features coming to content creators using Twitch.

 

Twitch Banned Aussie For Streaming Pokemon 'Early'

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Australian streamer Mark McKenzie, aka Werster, copped a temporary ban from Twitch.tv yesterday while streaming Pokemon Ultra Sun. Twitch prohibits the streaming of unauthorised pre-release content.

 

Desert Bus for Hope charity celebrates the 10th anniversary of the first run

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Looks to eclipse $4 million mark, all time

 

The FCC Is Trying To Destroy The Internet

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unveiled its plans to roll back net neutrality regulations, and if those plans are successful, we can say goodbye to the internet as we know it.

What the threat against net neutrality means for PC gaming

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What you need to know about the FCC's existing net neutrality protections, and why they're now in danger.

 

Government to respond to British Games Institute proposal

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Plans for a British Game Institute have taken a key step forward today as the team behind the proposal has secured enough support to prompt a government response.

 

Record attendance for NASSCOM Game Developer Conference

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Over 3,000 industry professionals travelled to India for growing games event, organisers gearing up for tenth anniversary in 2018

 

Battlefront & Overwatch's Loot Boxes Under Investigation In Belgium

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Belgian website VTM is reporting that the country’s Gaming Commission is currently taking a look at loot boxes in video games, with particular focus on EA’s inclusion of them in Star Wars: Battlefront II and Blizzard’s use in Overwatch.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2's Loot Boxes "Are Not Gambling," EA Says

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Belgium is investigating the PS4, Xbox One, and PC game over gambling concerns.

Belgium says loot boxes are gambling, wants them banned in Europe

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The Minster of Justice says the mix of gaming and gambling is "dangerous."

 

Plans to generate 500 new jobs in Adelaide games industry

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State government announces $2 million to fund games development hub

 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's PC mod scene is bizarre and amazing

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And modders hope it gets weirder still.

 

Esports News

 

The Weekend In Esports: IEM's Battlegrounds Invitational

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2017's breakout battle royale game comes to the Oracle Arena in Oakland for its first Intel Extreme Masters tournament.

 

Giant Arenas Capture The Beautiful Chaos Of 100-Player Battlegrounds

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This weekend, scores of players in Busan, South Korea, will compete in a LAN pulled from Ready, Player One’s wildest dreams. Stacked up in double-decker computer hubs, 100 competitors at a time will drop onto the abandoned island of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and scrap, shoot, and crawl until only one person is left standing at the center of the blue circle.

 

Pro Rainbow Six Team Comes Back From 4-0 Down To Win League Finals

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Add Black Dragons to the list of teams that have blown a massive lead in the finals.

 

Pro Dota Team Turns To In-Game Chat Wheel To Overcome Language Barrier

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The Perfect World Masters kicked things off in Shanghai last night, and one team had to scramble last-minute to find a substitute player. Team Secret’s MidOne had an urgent personal matter, and so his team had to turn to a local substitute and unique method of communication.

 

How veteran underdogs beat an all-star opponent in last weekend's CS:GO tourney

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Ninjas in Pyjamas defends its title and ends its slump at IEM Oakland.

 

Competitors Battle For Love And Justice At Sailor Moon Fighting Game Tournament

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Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S: Jougai Rantou!? Shuyaku Soudatsusen (roughly, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Outdoor Brawl!? Star Scramble) is a fighting game that was developed for the Super Famicom in 1994. Although the game never officially left Japan, the competitive fighting game community has taken a shine to this anime-based release. And with a variety of staple fighting game mechanics wrapped up in the iconic imagery of one of the most cherished franchises of all time, what’s not to love?

 

Roadhog and Orisa rounded out a diverse tank meta at the Overwatch World Cup

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See how the pros put this pair of heavy hitters to use on the biggest Overwatch stage.

 

NRG Esports Won't Show Us Its "Zero Tolerance" Policy, But It Probably Sucks

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These firings have so far been popular ones. There has been little to no public outcry against the removal of racists or abusers. However, the vague and all-encompassing nature of these policies—as well as the fact that they only seem to kick in when there’s a social media outcry—introduces the potential for misuse.

 

Overwatch Pro's Mid-Match Suspension Raises Questions About Blizzard's Reporting System

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A reddit post yesterday had highlighted Lengyel’s “false reporting” that was shown on-stream, with a message asking for extremely public action “whether or not it involves xQc.” But stream detectives later pointed out that Lengyel might have had some reason behind his report; it was a player from a previous game that had refused to switch off a character, even when they were repeatedly dying. (Update: Commenters have found other clips in his past stream archives of him reporting users, with captions like “ur such a piece of shit. fuck you”.)

 

Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)

 

500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII

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500 Years Later offers a thrilling deep dive into the creation of the revered PlayStation RPG. Comprising over 30 interwoven voices, this beautifully produced book will offer unprecedented insight into the craft and ambition behind the game.

 

Raji: An Ancient Epic

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An action adventure game set in ancient India. A young girl is gifted with godlike powers to defend humanity against a demonic invasion

 

Destination Primus Vita: Volume 1, a narrative puzzle game

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Destination Primus Vita is an episodic first-person, narrative puzzle game, in a sci-fi setting.

 

Developer Accuses Project Phoenix Director of Embezzling $1 Million From Kickstarter

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Game developer Tariq Lacy has accused director Hiroaki Yura of stealing money from a Kickstarter called Project Phoenix to fund his latest game, Tiny Metal. Yura has fired back with his own allegations, accusing Lacy of sexual harassment, which Lacy denies. It’s a back-and-forth mudslinging fight and yet another piece of drama surrounding Yura’s disastrous $1 million Kickstarter project.

 

Content I found interesting this week (interviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)

 

Indiepocalypse Now. MaxMaxing Attention Economies In the Age of Cultural Overproduction.

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How to deal with a saturated, financially unsustainable market for indie games?

How can we maximize the developers happiness without reducing the diversity of voices?

 

The Curious Case Of The 'EA Game Dev' Who Said He Received Death Threats

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The debate about the economy of Star Wars Battlefront II has been ugly, and threats against developers, players and anyone else are no trifling thing. (I’ve been there, too.) BiggSean66’s tweet resonated with a lot of people because it feels true. Anger tends to swell in gaming communities. Furious, partisan players do sometimes cross the line and send threats. Game developers often are brow-beaten for design decisions they made, sometimes for decisions over which they had no control. But it’s not often you find a game developer’s death threat go viral—making its way not just to game sites but to large mainstream outlets—only for it to turn out that he might not be a developer after all.

Understandable mistake for the other sites when you can find no shortage of people who did hear of threats and said they were justified.

 

Widespread Rumor About EA Firing Plants vs. Zombie Creator Isn't Quite True

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It’s easy to believe that video game publishers like Electronic Arts are full of cartoon villains, which is why people were so quick to share a recent rumor about the publisher firing Plants vs. Zombie’s creator for refusing to make the sequel pay-to-win. The truth, as always, is far more complicated than that.

 

Exclusive: How a Culture of Crunch Brought Telltale From Critical Darling to Layoffs

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Telltale's restructuring is just one part of a complicated history.

 

I Settle All Video Game Arguments, Part 1: Game Reviews

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This is why I was a huge fan of Conan O'Brien's Clueless Gamer series, before it devolved into a series of tedious celebrity skits. Watching someone who isn't fully proficient in our art form and its weird conventions struggling to enjoy it can be painfully useful.

 

Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Harassment

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Farokhmanesh, who had been working at Polygon since 2012, had just been promoted to senior reporter, but she had no idea how to deal with something like this. “It had never happened to me before,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do.” She didn’t report the incident to her boss, she said, and she only went public with the story a few weeks ago. (A PR representative for Naughty Dog did not respond to a request for comment.)

 

Streamer's Hateful Rant Revives Debate About Women On Twitch

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“This used to be a god damn community of gamers, nerds, kids that got bullied, kids that got fucked with, kids that resorted to the gaming world because the real world was too fucking hard, too shitty, too lonely, too sad and depressing,” Trainwreck said in a voice that landed somewhere between a seethe and a roar. As he saw it, IRL streaming made Twitch the domain of “the same sluts that rejected us, the same sluts that chose the god damn cool kids over us. The same sluts that are coming into our community, taking the money, taking the subs, the same way they did back in the day.”

You don't usually hear someone rant about what a loser they are.

 

Twitch streamer beats Sonic Forces and requests Steam refund live

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It’s the clip below, however, that people are expressing concern over. When McKown beat the game, which took just over two hours and 40 minutes, he then streamed himself asking for a refund from Steam. In the explanation for his request, he didn’t mention the game’s glitches or other problems, but instead wrote that he bought the wrong game.

 

Lootboxes and Free-to-Play Model

Click first two messages or title for thread.

 

Why your Battlefront 2 outrage is a compliment to EA (and how to use it effectively)

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What you say isn’t important from a business perspective, the most important thing is what you do. So if you complain bitterly but then buy the game? The company likely doesn’t care about your forum posts. If you say you hate loot crates but pay for a few of them during that cool event with the neat outfits? The company has learned that your words don’t match your behavior. And it’s your behavior that makes or loses money.

 

The New 'Need for Speed' Sees a Future Where Loot Boxes Are in Control

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It wants you to be part of the Fast and the Furious, but not as much as it wants you to play a slot machine.

 

How Ninja Theory proved independent AAA has a future

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“Smaller indie teams that want to make that step up in production values can adopt this kind of model"

 

Loot boxes are not bad game design, say devs

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Star Wars Battlefront II's handling of loot boxes and Electronic Arts' last-minute concession to pull all in-game microtransactions for the time being has put a spotlight on the increasing presence of additional purchases for games that already cost players as much as $60. While one analyst has suggested that publishers should actually be charging gamers more, GamesIndustry.biz wanted to see what the development community thinks about the controversy and loot boxes in general.

 

How the Red Cross Convinced a Publisher to Make a Game That Respects the Laws of War

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'Laws of War,' an add-on for Bohemia Interactive's military FPS 'Arma 3,' offers a new perspective on armed conflict.

 

Guerrilla Games: "We've gone from designing rollercoaster rides to theme parks"

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Horizon: Zero Dawn art director Jan-Bart Van Beek on the acclaimed new IP's origins and why games offer more unique worlds than movies

 

Mass Effect's dialogue was inspired by awkward TV comedy Extras

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Remember 2005 British TV comedy series Extras, written by The Office duo Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant? The one where Gervais played an actor stuck making a living as an extra, and where a string of guest stars like Ben Stiller, Patrick Stewart and Samuel L. Jackson appeared? The late, great David Bowie even popped up in Series 2. Good, wasn't it?

 

Making 20XX: Listening Well and Lucking Out

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In this postmortem, I’ll go over the inflection points in our story, then talk a little more generally about what we’ve learned over the past four years.

 

Why Does HAL Laboratory Only Make Nintendo Games?

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Once upon a time, the studio behind Kirby and Super Smash Bros. was a publisher in its own right. Then 'Metal Slader Glory' happened.

 

The complete history of Civilization

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26 years of conquest, building and Montezuma being a bit of a dick.

 

What are devs saying about the design of Super Mario Odyssey?

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Super Mario Odyssey is out, and the plumber’s globetrotting, body-stealing adventures seem to have distilled that platforming joy that the series is known for once again. With a new more forgiving lives system, a barrage of new locales and play mechanics, delightful nods to the series’ long history, and an emphasis on fun for all ages and skill levels, Nintendo EPD has created a charming experience that is drawing in longtime fans and new players alike.

 

The best incidental animations in games

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Here's to the tiny, wonderful animations that bring game worlds to life.

 

The music you didn’t realize you grew up with: Chip Tanaka’s 8-bit revolution

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If you grew up during the 1980s or 1990s, there’s a good chance that you spent more time listening to the music of Hirokazu Tanaka than to many of your favorite pop songs. Such was the reach of the work that the Kyoto native created during his nearly 20-year tenure as a sound designer at Nintendo, as the company branched out from manufacturing playing cards and children’s toys to become one of the world’s biggest video game makers.

 

Inside FIFA 18's Weekend League, the gruelling mode that's consuming players' lives

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For some, playing 40 games in just a few days isn't just too much, it's unhealthy.

 

Inside The Brothels Of Final Fantasy XIV

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The madam Queen Tepe met me near a bustling harbor in Final Fantasy XIV. “Will you be coming to the mansion?” she asked me. “I’d appreciate an escort,” I responded. Moments later, I’d meet five of them.

 

Why Interrogations are Better in L.A. Noire on Switch

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Reading people, knowing when to push and pull, and eventually getting them to admit truths they don't want to.

For me, this was a problem. As an adult with an autistic spectrum condition, I sometimes struggle to read certain facial expressions on humans, let alone video game replications of humans. I can pick up on exaggerated emotions, and someone’s mood in general with a bit of effort, but picking out little subtleties, granular emotions, can be at best tiring and at worst impossible.

 

Walking Among the Enemy: Wolfenstein II and Passing

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“I recognize your face. Very Aryan face it is, too.”

Wolfenstein 2 and Mending Broken Things

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A common critique of alternative history media that depict the Nazis as winning World War 2 is that you don’t need Nazis to imagine that racism is still a problem because it actually is still a problem. Modern day racism is not speculative. The New Colossus transcends this by using Nazism not as an easy out, but to actually say something about current day white supremacy.

 

Elite: Dangerous Player Creates His Own Way To 'Talk' To Aliens

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“The mechanics of the game are pretty cool, but I just see this as the sandbox given to us, which we can take and use to build cool sandcastles out of,” he said. “It is what we make of it.”

 

Meet the man behind YouTube sensation Noclip

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The hottest games media personality around, Danny O’Dwyer is making lengthy documentaries and bucking the trend of how games are covered on YouTube.

 

Who is PLAYERUNKNOWN? - Noclip Profiles

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PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS has taken the world of online PC shooters by storm in 2017. But who is the man behind the moniker? We sit down with Brendan Greene to talk about his love of military shooters, his journey into mod development and the success of his first game. Our work is 100% crowdfunded.

Consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/dannyodwyer

 

Barret's Sailor Suit In Final Fantasy VII Is Slightly More Hilarious In Japanese

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I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VII in English and Japanese at the same time. I’ve been noticing a lot of tiny little differences. I’ve been pointing them out in a series of videos. Whoa: here is the latest episode of that series!

 

A Eulogy for Quintet - Melancholy and Wonder - Extra Credits

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We loved games from Quintet back in the Super Nintendo era: ActRaiser, Soul Blazer, and Terranigma touched our hearts with their gentle, melancholy exploration of themes like working through tragedy or facing the dark experiences in our lives.

 

Saints Row IV and Indulgence | PostMesmeric

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Erasing all sense of restraint, it pushed its crazy world to new limits and delivered total indulgence toward the player. Time to see how Saints Row IV kept players invested, even with an avalanche of skills and upgrades to fill the player's toybox.

Check out more music by Janet Mars! https://mjanetmars.bandcamp.com/

 

The Legend of Zelda / Zelda II's dungeon design | Boss Keys

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You asked for it! Before we finish Boss Keys season one, by looking at the most recent Zelda game (Breath of the Wild), let's take a detour to the games that started it all - Zelda 1 and 2 on the NES.

 

Nintendo's Obsession With Motion Controls Hurt Mario

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Super Mario Odyssey is an incredible game, but it's mandatory motion controls are annoying.

 

Good Game Design - Super Mario Odyssey

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Super Mario Odyssey is our favorite plumber's best outing yet! Let's talk about the 3 main game design principles that have turned this into my favorite 3D Mario of all time! What do you enjoy about Mario Odyssey? Tell me in the comments below!

Support snomaN Gaming on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/snomangaming

 

The Modern Design of 3D Platformers (ft Snoman) // HeavyEyed

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This year has been absolutely stacked with games from all kinds of genre's, but the biggest and most pleasant surprise for me was just how much love 3D platformer collectathons got on a mainstream level. So let's look at the design of Yooka Laylee, Snake Pass, A Hat in Time and Mario Odyssey to see if this is a return or just a quick flash in the pan hype revival.

Patreon // https://www.patreon.com/heavyeyed

SPECIAL THANKS TO DEV2000 FOR EXTRA MARIO ODYSSEY FOOTAGE https://twitter.com/DevTwoThousand

 

Super Mario 64 Retrospective

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Perhaps the most over-analyzed game in history, but I may as well take a crack at it while I'm still young.

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/kingdomklannad

 

Threading the Needlemouse (Sonic Mania)

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In this follow-up field report, I return to one of the year's most acclaimed titles with some updated thoughts - with some extended musing on the state of the Sonic franchise currently.

 

Top 5 Traits of Battle Themes from Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal

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In this one I take a look at 5 things that make the 2nd generation Pokemon games' battle music sound so iconic.

PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/8bitmusictheory

 

Mass Effect - Building A Universe | Core Ideas

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Bioware's Sci-FI RPG, Mass Effect, is a fantastic gaming franchises & created one of the most beloved fictional universes of the past decade. With a wide range of aliens such as the Krogans & Asari to the Mass Relays & Citadel, stepping into the shoes of Commander Shepard was a look into a whole new world. In this Mass Effect related video essay, I explain how they pulled it off.

 

The History Of The Sims

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With the release of The Sims 4 on Xbox One and PS4, and the new Pets expansion, Lucy takes a look back at the video game and cultural phenomenon that is The Sims.

 

Off Camera Secrets | Fallout 4 - Boundary Break

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I dont plug my patreon in the videos because I want to keep the content pure and timeless. However currently I am accepting for support in the early months as i recently quit my day job to push this series as far as it can go. If you visit the patreon page, there is a video that explains my whole story. https://www.patreon.com/BoundaryBreak

 

Cuphead Creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer - IGN Unfiltered #25

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Cuphead co-creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer discuss their incredible journey from cartoon-loving kids to quitting their day jobs to making Cuphead, one of the year's best and most beautiful games.

 

The 2017 Indie Soapbox

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In this 2017 GDC soapbox session, developers Tanya Short, Jarryd Huntley, Jerry Belich, Marben Exposito, Brandon Sheffield, Brie Code, Gemma Thomson, Colm Larkin, Sadia Bashir, and Jane Ng take the stage to share what's on their mind and broaden your horizons.

 

Everything's on Fire and No One Knows What to Do (In Game Writing)

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In this 2017 GDC session, game writers George Ziets, Leanne Taylor-Giles, Chris Avellone, Colin McComb, and Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie share their experiences working on everything from AAA to indie and tabletop, discuss their strategies for remaining creative on varying budgets, and define common terms that may just result in you not needing to set everything on fire after all.

 

Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games, game communities, or game companies

 

Is Toad Wearing a Hat or Is That His Head? A Serious Investigation

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It would take philosophers and scientists years to answer the multitude of questions surrounding these fungus folk, so we're better off sticking with one particularly prickly point of debate. In this instance, the largest and most prominent enigma revolves around Toad's head. What is going on there? Do all Toads wear the same kind of large, round hat? Or are the polka-dotted headbulbs part of their mushroom-like biology?

 

What happens when Solid Snake, Quiet, and B.J. Blazkowicz go online dating?

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It made me wonder if these sites would be better if they weren’t inhabited by real people. Perhaps pretend men would be more courteous than real men, and maybe pretend women would give the real women a break from the angry men. Mostly, though, I wondered if love could bloom on a battlefield. So I decided to take videogame characters dating.


Tekken Star Humiliates Hacker Into Rage-Quitting

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Developing fighting games for PC is a risky proposition, as it often just makes it simpler for players to do silly things like form an all-Ryu team in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or shoot themselves to the top of the Street Fighter V rankings. World-class Tekken competitor Jae-min “Knee” Bae recently found himself matched up against one such player during an online Tekken 7 bout, but had no time for such shenanigans. Outstream Video

 

Microtransaction Indiegogo

 

Who the hell was behind this choice

 

Star Wars Battlefront 2: The Microtransaction Controversy Investigated

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is the most controversial video game of not only 2017, but maybe of all time. Fans across the world are furious that EA has created a progression system designed to get you to spend more cash, so much so, the developer backtracked and took microtransactions out the game. That is huge.

Aside from proving what power a large fanbase does have, it shows that there’s more here than meets than eye, and who better to investigate the Detective Reid It. Here he is to investigate the controversial microtransactions when it comes to Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

Don’t forget to let us know what you think about Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s loot boxes and if they make you want to take Battlefront 2 and just throw it out the window. Maybe leave a Star Wars: Battlefront 2 review in the comments as well to show your anger and frustrations with video games, EA and just life in general.

Co-written by Kirk McKeand.

 

Things I Missed From Previous Weeks

 

Cyberpunk 2077 Online Elements

English subtitles

 

Remembering Dead Space (With Former Visceral Games Members) | Gameumentary

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During our latest documentary shoot in San Francisco at Outpost Games, we took some time with former members of Visceral Games to reminisce about Dead Space and the studio.

Want to help us tell more stories about the games we play? Check out our Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/gameumentary

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